Ferd setting commitment requirements

In autumn 2015 Ferd sent out a letter to a number of law firms detailing how in the future Ferd intends to use attorneys who are actively committed to voluntary organisations and social entrepreneurs.

In the letter, Ferd’s CEO John Giverholt wrote: “Voluntary organisations and social entrepreneurs are important to Norway’s welfare model and create great human and social value. Organisations of this type will become even more important as the welfare state comes under pressure due to the ageing population, migration and lower revenue from the North Sea.”

The letter explains that from 2017 Ferd will ask law firms to provide details of their pro bono agreements. “We will attach significant weight to such agreements when selecting which law firms to use”, writes John Giverholt. He also emphasizes that it will be of no significance whether or not the agreements are with social entrepreneurs included in Ferd’s portfolio.

The Schjødt law firm is amongst the firms that have provided valuable pro bono help to companies included in the Ferd Social Entrepreneurs portfolio. Morten Sandli, a partner at the firm, is an example of someone who has provided such help. He is an expert in corporate tax and company law, and usually helps national and international companies with setting up new companies, restructurings, investments, mergers and acquisitions. Helping a social entrepreneur such as Monsterbedriften is therefore a job that is somewhat out of the ordinary for him.

“As a corporate lawyer, I live in a distinctly commercial world. I find working on cases that have a slightly different dimension to them, and experiencing the commitment that Monsterbedriften has, really exciting”, he comments.

Schjødt has provided Ferd Social Entrepreneurs with pro bono help for a number of years. Morten Sandli points out that the firm has a long history of providing its expertise to parties that would not otherwise have been able to afford its services, and mentions the resumption of the Torgersen and Liland cases as examples.

“I think all of us at Schjødt value the fact that we can provide legal assistance to those who need it the most but cannot afford it”, he comments.

A longer version of this article is available in Norwegian in the Ferd Magazine by clicking here.

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